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Q&A with Maurizio Aterini of Gold Note

What ignited your interest in the high end? Did it come from the music side or the electronics side?
I was 8 years old when I started listening to my parents’ hi-fi system—a Lenco D75 and a Sony amplifier and speakers. I got fascinated by the magic of the music that came out of it. From that point on I have never stopped listening to music, and I have also tried to improve audio quality by founding Gold Note.

What gear made up your first high-end system?
I received my own first stereo system when I turned 11. It was a Yamaha A500, the same Lenco D75 from my parents, and Italian RCF BR135 speakers, rapidly exchanged for Genesis Model 2s.

When did audio develop from a hobby to a career?
Before beginning at university, I already had the idea of starting an audio business in mind. I opened my own audio company with a partner, who during the first years took care of the core business. I officially entered the audio company full-time when I had completed my studies in 1997.

What education did you receive?
I graduated as a mechanical engineer.

How do you define the difference between hi-fi and high-end audio?
To me high end is mainly the way to look for the best performance in audio. Anyway, I think the consumer should look for intelligently interfaced products rather than expensive ones. In fact, manufacturers should design new high-performance products as alternatives to the standardized electronic industry. Doing something differently also means taking some risks and eventually taking existing solutions to an extreme. High-end audio should be the Formula 1 of the consumer hi-fi market. 

Analog or digital—do you have a preference and why?
Being a mechanical engineer, I should say “analog” but honestly, I really feel that today the digital audio is more important than ever. Together with all the new digital formats, I personally feel that even CD players have their own quality and identity to preserve yet. The Gold Note CD player is the second-most-sold product of our electronics line, which clearly explains the needs of the market. However, it is obvious that the future is streaming music; our company started investing in technology, innovation, and streaming a dozen years ago when almost nobody else was thinking about such a crucial area. Today we are one of the very few companies in the high-end audio market who designs streamers, innovative DACs, and modern all-in-one products. 

How would you describe the company philosophy?
We believe in thinking differently to offer something really new. Inspired by our country’s [Italian] heritage we introduced the catenary design from the studies of Michelangelo, guaranteeing beautiful design, ultra-solid anti-resonant construction, and easy-to-use and user-friendly products. Gold Note Premium Quality is the natural consequence of all of this. 

What is the greatest misunderstanding people have about your products?
Manufacturing all kinds of audio products including turntables, streamers, DACs, CD players, and speakers, we believe in offering the perfect synergy of audio components. Companies that only offer a specific line of components do not have the same skills or enough finance, but certainly they are not more specialized because they do only one thing. 

What interesting fact or aspect about Gold Note might surprise audiophiles?
Design, simplicity of use, user-friendliness, and innovation inspires all our products. Gold Note’s ultra-modern streamers, DACs, and all-in-one amplifiers are easy examples of this, but the idea of designing all our products with catenary curves and powered by modern electronic solutions merges tradition with innovation. It can even redefine the way vinyl is listened to today. 

What are the greatest challenges confronting the high end in the next few years?
Computers and audio are increasingly merging with each other every day. Traditional two-speaker audio systems offered by the majority of audio manufacturers are quite a limitation. Innovation also requires new solutions to let audio enthusiasts enjoy listening to their favorite music in all possible modern ways.

Outside of audio, what do you do for fun?
I love traveling especially in Tuscany where every weekend I visit a new place. I love wine and real organic food. This passion is shared by my wife and friends.

What inspires you about your work?
My love for music, for the city I was born in—Florence—and for the arts have certainly been the first things that inspired me. When I was young, I could choose what to study depending on the job I wanted to do; later I was lucky to meet the people who, today, comprise the great team of Gold Note and who have helped me make a dream come true. 

By Neil Gader


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